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New Orleans Police Go On Trial In Beating Death Of Black Man

NEW ORLEANS, LA - Jury selection has begun for two New Orleans police officers charged in a 2005 beating death and its coverup in another black eye for the troubled force.

Federal prosecutors say Melvin Williams kicked and beat Raymond Robair to death on a sidewalk in July 2005, shortly before Hurricane Katrina. Williams' then-partner, Matthew Moore, is charged with covering up the crime with a false report terming it a "medical incident."

Robair's death was reviewed at the time but gained prominence after post-Katrina police crimes were exposed.

The police report said when the officers encountered Robair, he was stumbling and clutching his chest. The officers said they took him to a hospital and left him there.

But the indictment asserts that Williams kicked Robair and beat him with a baton.

Williams, charged with obstruction of justice and one count of deprivation of rights under color of law, faces life if convicted. Moore, charged with obstruction and false statements, faces a maximum of 25 years. Both have pleaded not guilty.

The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, citing court filings, predicts the prosecution will call witnesses from the scene and hospital staff. It also is likely to say Williams has a history of abuse and misconduct. 


STORY TAGS: New Orleans Police Department , NOPD , Raymond RobairBlack News, African American News, Minority News, Civil Rights News, Discrimination, Racism, Racial Equality, Bias, Equality, Afro American News

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